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City seeks clarity on most recent Provincial Officer’s Order on Chedoke Creek

HAMILTON, ON – Last week, the City of Hamilton received a Provincial Officer’s Order from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation & Parks (MECP) related to the 2018 spill into Chedoke Creek. After reviewing the Order, the City will be approaching the MECP to seek clarity and additional time to adequately respond.

The Order requires environmental remedial work take place in Chedoke Creek and Cootes Paradise, and follows the City’s submission of two independent environmental reports to the MECP in February and April 2020 that did not recommend remediation.

The recent Provincial Officer’s Order requires the City to submit a work plan outlining dredging for Chedoke Creek, and a report outlining remediation plans for Cootes Paradise by January 22, 2021. Additionally, a work plan and implementation plan related to the remediation of Cootes Paradise would be required within five weeks of the Cootes remediation plan being approved.

The City will be asking that the provincial director responsible review the Order and provide clarity on what specific work needs to take place and what specific water quality standards the City is being asked to meet.

The City is also asking the Director to consider if eight weeks is a reasonable time frame to adequately develop a plan that meets the MECP’s expectations.

The City is committed to continuing its full cooperation with the MECP’s investigation, is invested in achieving the best possible outcomes for the Chedoke and Cootes Paradise watersheds, and looks forward to receiving more information and clarity on the Provincial Officer’s Order.

To date, in response to the spill, the City has taken a number of actions including:

  • Undertaking clean-up of the creek, including removing 242,000 litres of “floatable material” from the surface and edge of the creek.
  • Initiating regular monitoring of water quality in certain areas of Chedoke Creek.
  • Initiating and implementing enhanced inspections of wastewater facilities and equipment.
  • Undertaking expert studies to determine whether further remediation is appropriate for Chedoke Creek and Cootes Paradise.
  • The approval of four new staff members to increase the City’s ability to perform regular, routine physical inspections and preventative maintenance for City water infrastructure, as well as one staff position for sampling and analyzing water and wastewater quality in Hamilton. 

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